Delivering care with love and compassion is the hallmark of family caregivers. This care often provides enormous financial and societal benefit. It allows the deferral or avoidance of institutional care. Yet, studies show that a large number of family caregivers are never taught how to do this difficult work. The article highlights programs, such as The Schmieding Center in Arkansas, and Washington state’s new long-term care benefit that will provide the opportunity for caregivers to be trained and paid for their services.
The article offers arguments for educating family caregivers in ways that benefit everyone: Hospitals can avoid costly readmission penalties; long-term care companies might be able to lower the cost of claims; training family caregivers can improve health outcomes for caregivers and care recipients. Howard Gleckman authored the article in January 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. He covers tax, budget, and retirement policy from Washington.